Book at the Door with Melissa at Ever Growing Farm

I’ve got a brand new book, signed by the author, would you like it?

I love books but even more, I love sharing books I have loved. And so, I’m going to take this brand new, shiny book and pack it up, put it in the mail and send to to the actual house of the winner. Then, because reading the first page of a book is my favorite way to decide if it’s a book I want to read, I’m also going to include a nice print with the first line of this book.

Here it is:

“Magic coated the fabric of the newly delivered blessing dress, the colors dancing through a rainbow of shades.”

Melissa at Ever Growing Farm(http://evergrowingfarm.com) put this month’s image together. Ever Growing Farm is a blog full of beautiful stories of the daily life of a couple and their toddler, who took the leap from urban farming to rural homesteading. Now with goats and chickens and ducks and dogs and cats and occasionally turkeys, I’d say they are well into the homesteading scene!  Melissa tells her stories as if you were sitting at the table next to her and photographs the ups and downs of homesteading. And photographs… and photographs…  If you like pictures of baby ducks you need to go find her on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/EverGrowingFarm) right away. If you also like pictures of cute goats and dogs and chickens and all things farm life, you should really keep track of her on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/evergrowingfarm/). And if you are in the market for a new print for your home or greeting cards or postcards or even handmade pendants, you should see what she has for sale on Etsy (https://www.etsy.com/shop/EverGrowing/)!

But, before you run off and get lost in her gorgeous photography leave a comment here. Tell me what book this line is from (I’ll give you another hint, it’s just been awarded a bronze in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards!) or tell me what your favorite farm animal to see photographed is and you’ll be entered into the giveaway!

An award-winning book signed by the author and a print by Melissa? It’ll be worth the time to leave a comment!


Giveaway is open worldwide through April 25th.

The winner will have the honor of receiving Melissa’s print in the mail as well as the signed book.

Artists of all kinds (Yes, you photographers and you who says you can’t draw and you who just wants to practice hand lettering and you who is selling paintings online and…all of you!) if you are interested in providing a small piece of work that includes a first sentence, I would love to hear from you!  

Authors, have I read your book and tagged it as a recommended read? Would you like to donate a hard copy? Let me know! 

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Book at the Door Giveaway with Maranto Photography

I’ve got a book, would you like it?

This month I’m giving away a paper back copy of a book that’s been gently loved by others. I’m sure it must have been loved by others because not only was it written by my favorite historical fiction author but, of all her books, this one is my favorite.

Now, because I love to read the first page of a book over the back cover or any other available excerpts and reviews, I’d like to tell you the first line of this one. In fact that’s all I’m going to tell you, but I’ve got help.

This month Amy Maranto of Maranto Photography has worked her photo magic to help me share the first line of this book.

“My father is Sir Richard Woodville, Baron Rivers, an English nobleman, a landholder, and a supporter of the true Kings of England, the Lancastrian line.” (Author name has been smudged to preserve the fun!)

Unfortunately I have a little problem. She worked her magic more than once…

“My father is Sir Richard Woodville, Baron Rivers, an English nobleman, a landholder, and a supporter of the true Kings of England, the Lancastrian line.” (Author name has been smudged to preserve the fun!)

…and neither of us could decide which photo should go to the winner of the giveaway. That’s right, if your name is drawn you will not only get the book mailed to your door but one of these haunting pictures as well.Book at the Door

All you need to do is leave a comment below, tell me the name of the book we are giving away this month (Go ahead Google it!)  or which of the photos is your favorite and you are automatically entered.

But before you leave that comment, make sure you visit Amy’s online haunts and check out her other beautiful photos! You can find her on her blog Photography Journal Blog  (https://marantophotography.wordpress.com/) where she shares photos she’s taken, often with before and after editing pictures and a discussion of where her editing process took her. And, being that it’s photography we are talking about, you probably also want to find her on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/marantophotography/ ).  If those aren’t your social media haunts of choice, she is on Twitter, or Flicker and certainly check out her portfolio on Picfair (https://www.picfair.com/users/marantophotography)  where you can purchase her images!

Leave a comment below, you’ve nothing to lose and a great book and photo to gain!


Giveaway is open worldwide through March 21st.

The winner will have the honor of receiving Amy Maranto’s photo in the mail as well as the book.

Artists of all kinds (Yes, you photographers and you who says you can’t draw and you who just wants to practice hand lettering and you who is selling paintings online and…all of you!) if you are interested in providing a small piece of work that includes a first sentence, I would love to hear from you!  

Authors, have I read your book and tagged it as a recommended read? Would you like to donate a hard copy? Let me know! 

Book at the Door: January Giveaway

I’ve got a book.

Would you like it?

That’s right, an honest to goodness hard cover book that I’m ready to put in the mail and send to your door.  But, because I’m the sort of person who would never read the last chapter first (Except for recently but that was totally an accident!) and rarely read the front matter or even the back cover to decide if I’m going to read it, I’d also like to introduce you to my favorite way to pick a book. I prefer choosing a book by reading the first page or even better the first line to see what I think and avoid any and all potential spoilers.

The first line of the book I have for you goes like this:

"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderly again."

“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderly again.”

The book I’m ready to send doesn’t look like the photo above, that picture is instead the paper crafting genius of my best friend Sarah. Normally here is where I would tell you a million places to track down the lovely person who donated their time and art to the giveaway. Sarah says she social medias only in technology school teachery sorts of ways and nobody wants to see that. I think that’s probably untrue, she does pretty neat things in her school under the guise of technology integration so I’m just going to sneak her twitter account in here (thinkbigmuch on Twitter) because someone is always interested.  Then, since it is a little bit sad that the book doesn’t actually look like this when you open it, I will also send along a high quality print of this piece of art. (My apologies, we are having a little technical difficulties, the printed copy will be much better quality than the photo above- promise!)

If the first line of this book sounds promising to you, all you have to do is either tell me the title of the book (Go ahead use the google, it knows all the things!) or tell me one of your long time favorite books in the comments below. Your name will then be entered in a random drawing for the book (which happens to be one of my long time favorites) and print (which happens to be made by one of my long time favorites). Win, win people, win win!Book at the Door


Contest will be open through January 31st.

The winner will have the honor of receiving a quality print of Sarah’s artwork in the mail as well as the book.

Artists of all kinds (Yes, you photographers and you who says you can’t draw and you who just wants to practice hand lettering and you who is selling paintings online and…all of you!) if you are interested in providing a small piece of work that includes a first sentence, I would love to hear from you!  

Authors, have I read your book and tagged it as a recommended read? Would you like to donate a hard copy? Let me know! 

Book at the Door: November Giveaway

I’ve got a brand new paperback book to giveaway this month.

Would you like it?Book at the Door

Of course, not only do I have the book but I also have a nice print of this fun artwork with the books first line on it:

Ishabel Stuart raced her car against the combined forces of time and tide, a thunderstorm snapping at her heels.

“Ishabel Stuart raced her car against the combined forces of time and tide, a thunderstorm snapping at her heels.”

Now if you are new here you are wondering what is going on and why Bradley, of Green Embers blog reknown, drew such a cool thing and what on earth the book actually is. Let me fill you in…

I love books.

I love giving away books I love.

But I don’t like to spoil the surprise that waits within them.

So, once a month(ish) I like to giveaway a real-paperback-send-me-your-address-if-you-win-because-this-is-a-book-to-hold-in-your-hands book. And just to make it a little more fun… instead of telling you the title, I have an artist present a piece of artwork that includes the first line of the book.

This month I’m super excited to tell you that the author of this book is also going to include a letter and a few fun items for the winner! So, if you’d like a brand new copy of the book that starts with the above line, a copy of that artwork and a note from the author, just leave a comment below!  Tell us what you think the title of the book is (It took me 7 seconds to Google it and today my computer is having more technical difficulties than a porcupine has quills) or tell us what your favorite kind of cake is and I’ll be sure your name gets into the random drawing on November 22nd.

Of course before you move on to other internet realms, be sure to check out not only Bradley’s Green Embers blog but also his new blog Below the Blanket Fort which is a super fun blog comic that may even feature some bloggers you recognize. Or if Instagram is more your style you can find him there too, or Twitter, or Facebook… you know us bloggers, you can find us anywhere you prefer to internet!

(Cake? Really? Yes. Really. Anybody remember a book review that mentioned a birthday cake? Hint, hint. Also I love cake!)


Contest will be open through November 22nd.

The winner will have the honor of receiving a quality print of Bradley’s artwork in the mail as well as the book.

Artists of all kinds (Yes, you photographers and you who says you can’t draw and you who just wants to practice hand lettering and you who is selling paintings online and…all of you!) if you are interested in providing a small piece of work that includes a first sentence, I would love to hear from you!  

Authors, have I read your book and tagged it as a recommended read? Would you like to donate a hard copy? Let me know! 

Book At The Door: September Giveaway

I’ve got a book here.  Would you like it?Book at the Door

But, you protest, how do I know? What is it? What is it about?

Ahhh…. that’s just telling don’t you think?

Let’s be surprised instead!

My favorite way to pick a book is just to open it and see how it starts.

This one sounds intriguing don’t you think?

book-at-the-door-png

“A fug of tobacco smoke and damp clammy air hit her as she entered the cafe.”

As always this month’s book is going to be sent in real life, passing through hands of actual postmen to land at the winner’s door along with the above print of the first line.

If you want to be entered to win, just leave a comment below that includes the name of the book or your favorite thing to order from a cafe. (Googling book titles is totally encouraged but Googling favorite cafe orders seems like a risky thing to base an actual cafe order off of.)

This month’s awesome artwork comes from Dan of straydogstrut.co.uk where you can find him blogging, creating and wearing his dreamer hat. You can also track him down on Twitter and Facebook, but my favorite place to connect with Dan is on Instagram. There, in addition to peeks at daily life, he chronicles the 100km ultra challenges he does for charity. The first time John and I “watched” the event unfold we cheered for Dan. The second time we were rooting for his feet to make it through in better shape!

Please, go track him down on your social media platform of choice, see what he’s up to today, tell him I said hi, and check out his charity work. Then come back and play with us! Leave a comment, maybe you’ll be the one to get a package in the mail!


Contest will be open through September 27th.

The winner will have the honor of receiving a quality print of Dan’s artwork in the mail as well as the book.

Artists of all kinds (Yes, you photographers and you who says you can’t draw and you who just wants to practice hand lettering and you who is selling paintings online and…all of you!) if you are interested in providing a small piece of work that includes a first sentence, I would love to hear from you!  

Authors, have I read your book and tagged it as a recommended read? Would you like to donate a hard copy? Let me know! 

Book At The Door: August Giveaway

I’ve got a book here.  It’s been read once or twice but not yet lost it’s shine. It’s a book I’ve loved for years, loved so well I have my own copy in a special place on the shelf.  But this book, still with it’s shine on, is begging to be read and I love to share the books I have loved. Which brings us to the big question…

Would you like it?

Book at the Door

If further incentive is what you need here, art work courtesy of Abbie, is the first line.

"124 was spiteful."

“124 was spiteful.”

Are you intrigued? I hope so. This one has been a long time favorite of mine. If you’d like the book, just do a bit of googling (unless you know that line as well as I do) and leave the name of the book in the comments. If you are the winner I will send you not only one of my all time favorite books but a print of Abbie’s artwork as well.

Now if you are thinking “That sounds great but who is this Abbie person?” let me help you out…

While it’s true that Abbie is a published writer and poet, I met her along her blogging journey on  Sidereal Catalyst. There she often writes about her personal journey with depression and anxiety and there you will also find that she is the fiercest mental health advocate.  This passion of her’s inspired her to start the mental health resource, Depression: Catalyst for Change. You can also find Abbie on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Go on, pop on over to her corner of the internet and say hello.  Just come back and leave a comment with the book title so your name makes it into the hat for the drawing!


Contest will be open through August 23rd.

The winner will have the honor of receiving a quality print of  Abbie’s artwork in the mail as well as the book.

Artists of all kinds (Yes, you photographers and you who says you can’t draw and you who just wants to practice hand lettering and you who is selling paintings online and…all of you!) if you are interested in providing a small piece of work that includes a first sentence, I would love to hear from you!  

Authors, have I read your book and tagged it as a recommended read? Would you like to donate a hard copy? Let me know! 

DomesticatedMomster

Sack Nasty by Ra Avis and July Book at the Door Winner

And the winner is…I won a Book at the Door with Behind the Willows

A Mouse!

She correctly identified this month’s book as Sack Nasty by Ra Avis and will have a copy of the book and the first line art mailed to her. What a lucky mouse!

As a Book at the Door feature I, of course, recommend you read this book too.  And, as always, I believe you can use the first line to get a feel for what’s in store for you.

"They say she is property."

“They say she is property.”

“They say she is property.” starts this compilation of poems.

That’s not just any run of the mill first line. That’s a sentence that demands your attention. That’s the kind of beginning that can give a person chills. Those are the kind of words that once they have your attention may not be kind to you. And that’s the kind of thought that betrays a glimmer of hope hiding behind it.

Which is all exactly what you should expect when reading these stories from the author’s time in prison.

Attention grabbing, powerful poems that wring your heart, make you consider things that you, perhaps, wish not to, and show some of the darkest sides of human nature right along side the light. And that is why, when asked…

…Would I recommend it? The answer is – Yes.

Once you have read these poems, or perhaps even before, check out The Women’s Prison Book Project because, sometimes, there are little things we can do to make a difference.


The Book at the Door winner was chosen using a random number generator from http://www.random.org 

Artists of all kinds (Yes, you photographers and you who says you can’t draw and you who just wants to practice hand lettering and you who is selling paintings online and…all of you!) if you are interested in providing a small piece of work that includes a first sentence I would love to hear from you!  

Authors, have I read your book and tagged it as a recommended read? Would you like to donate a hard copy? Let me know!